Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Shorecrest Announces New Head of School

On January 8, 2019, the Shorecrest Board of Trustees announced that Mike Murphy, Shorecrest Headmaster since 2005, would retire as Head of School following the 2019-20 school year.

Trustees Elizabeth Samuelson and Beth Vivio Co-chaired the Search Committee. Contact them at with any questions or feedback.

Upcoming Visits

Please join us in welcoming incoming Head of School Nancy Spencer when you see her on campus. She is eager to get to know our school community.
  • Ms. Spencer will be on campus late in the week of February 2-8 for meetings with various administrators. Many of you may run into her at the Saturday performance of “The Crucible.” 
  • She will visit March 12-18.
  • Drop in for coffee with Ms. Spencer on Friday, March 13 from 7:30-9am in Charger Commons. Plan to stay for the opening lap of Relay For Life with the full student body at 9am. 
  • Ms. Spencer will be on campus again the week of April 19-25 for a number of Celebrate the Arts events. 
May 22, 2019

Dear Shorecrest Community:

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce the Shorecrest Board of Trustees has unanimously appointed Nancy L. Spencer as our new Head of School, effective July 1, 2020. The Board’s decision followed the enthusiastic, unified recommendation of the Search Committee and the positive feedback received from all members of the school community: administration, faculty, staff, parents/guardians, past parents, alumni and students.

Mike Murphy will continue to lead our school until June 30, 2020, with the same passion and dedication that has been the hallmark of his 14-year tenure as Headmaster of Shorecrest. Mike will be an instrumental part of the team ensuring a seamless transition of our school’s leadership.
Nancy brings a wealth of experience from teaching, coaching, admissions, marketing and college counseling. Nancy currently serves as Associate Head of School at Westminster School in Simsbury, CT, where she has been in various roles since 2005. During the previous 10 years, Nancy was Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Bullis School outside of Washington, D.C. (coincidentally, a school that Mike Murphy attended for a post graduate year after high school).  
In addition to her wide breadth and depth of independent school experience, Nancy has an impressive educational background with a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, a Master of Arts from Yale University and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.
Nancy and her husband, John Sandoval (a 35-year independent school teacher of art and history and a swimming and diving coach), have two children; Stan graduated from Columbia University in 2017, and Sally will graduate from Dartmouth this spring.
Nancy is honored to step into this role, saying, “I am thrilled to be joining the Shorecrest community. It’s such an exciting opportunity to build on the strengths of this amazing educational environment. John and I look forward to being a part of the Shorecrest family.”
The Shorecrest Head of School was a highly sought-after position given the reputation our community enjoys in the independent school arena. After an extensive nationwide search and a thorough search process, your Board firmly believes that Nancy Spencer is an absolutely wonderful fit for Shorecrest and that she embraces the School’s mission, values and culture. Both she and our school have accomplished much over the past 25 years, and we are excited about the future of Shorecrest under Nancy’s leadership. Nancy has the vision, experience, temperament and passion to lead Shorecrest to Be More into the next decade and beyond.
The Board of Trustees will look for ways to introduce Nancy and her family more fully to our community over the course of the next school year. I know you will join us in welcoming them.
We deeply appreciate the tireless work of the Search Committee and the guidance and insight provided by our community. Thank you for your time and input in this important process.

Dennis Leary,
Board of Trustees
Elizabeth Samuelson,
Search Committee
Immediate Past Board Chair
Beth Vivio,
Search Committee
Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Who led the search process?

    The Board of Trustees is responsible for selecting and hiring Shorecrest's Head of School. To facilitate the search process, the Board created a Search Committee that recommended a Head of School candidate to the Board. The group included a faculty member from each of the four schools at Shorecrest, and Trustees who are current parents, past parents and alumni. Recognizing that selecting our next leader was a critical milestone for the School, the Board engaged Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a renowned search firm based in Boston, to serve as consultants to the Search Committee throughout the process. The consultants, who have participated in hundreds of national searches for independent schools, assisted the Search Committee in managing the search process from start to finish.
  • Q. What was the role of the Search Committee?

    The Search Committee directed the search process from start to finish. They coordinated input from Shorecrest's varied constituencies – both groups and individuals, worked with the search firm to craft the Position Statement, sorted through the initial round of candidates vetted by the search firm, and organized and conducted interviews with the semifinalists and finalists. At the end of the process, the Search Committee presented one broadly supported candidate to be confirmed by the Board of Trustees.

    Next, the Committee will facilitate the leadership transition and integration into the School.
  • Q. What was the role of the consultant?

    Carney, Sandoe & Associates provided advice to the Search Committee concerning format, logistics, procedure, and best practices in the search process. In May 2019, the consultants gathered data from an online questionnaire and personal interviews to fully understand the Shorecrest culture. Then, working closely with the Search Committee, they translated the School’s mission, philosophy, and objectives into a leadership profile. The consultants ensured that the Position Description included the personal characteristics and style required for the new Head to “fit” effectively with the Shorecrest culture and values.

    Together with the Search Committee, CS&A interviewed and checked references of all candidates before referring their credentials to the Search Committee for review. The consultants provided Committee members detailed interview questions custom-designed to probe whether candidates possess the specific leadership qualities identified as required by the school. They helped structure interviews, visits, and reference checks to ensure that these meet the candidates’ and the Committee’s needs for information. The consultants also facilitated the flow of feedback between the candidates and the Search Committee.
  • Q. What is the current head’s role?

    Headmaster Mike Murphy's primary focus will be continuing to lead the School and implementing existing strategic priorities until June 30, 2020.
  • Q. What was the Board’s role?

    The Board of Trustees was responsible for hiring the next Head of Shorecrest. Working closely with the Search Co-chairs, the Board assured a high level of congruence between the School’s mission, core values, challenges and opportunities for Shorecrest, and the desired candidate profile. The Board of Trustees met the finalist candidates in fall of 2019, and - acting on the recommendation of the Search Committee - approved the appointment of the new Head of Shorecrest.
If you have additional questions, please contact search Co-chairs Elizabeth Samuelson and Beth Vivio at

Shorecrest Preparatory School

5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191

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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.